2018 Is Going to be a Good Year…

Cruz Bay beach, Jan. 2, 2018

Cruz Bay beach, Jan. 2, 2018

Well folks, I’m back! Happy 2018! I’m super excited to be back on island after spending some time up in the States with my family and friends for the holidays. I’m also excited to see what 2018 brings for all of us. And to be honest, I think it’s going to be an amazing year here on St. John. It’s also an amazing time to visit us, so please start your trip planning! And if you already have a trip planned, wonderful! And thank you!! Here’s a quick overview of why you should visit, as well as some answers to frequently asked questions I receive here at News of St. John.

Why should you visit? Well because it’s St. John! It’s beautiful, warm and, most importantly, we’re open and we’re all eager to have you! I just tossed on a pair of flip flops, walked outside to the beach and snapped that picture above. It’s currently 81 degrees and sunny. Does is get any better that that??!!

So let’s start with how you can get here… I know the flights aren’t working completely in our favor, but they’re still doable. American still only has two flights daily via Miami. Delta only has one flight daily via Atlanta. Spirit flies on Wednesdays and Saturdays via Ft. Lauderdale. JetBlue flies daily via San Juan. So like I said, it is doable. But the flights are limited, so you will have to do some planning. If none of the above-mentioned flights work for you, you can always fly to San Juan. (The airport there is open and working perfectly, so no need to worry about that.) From there, you can hop on JetBlue, Cape Air or Seaborne to get to St. Thomas.

Here is a list of the current flight options courtesy of the USVI Hurricane Information an Assistance page on Facebook.

Current Direct and Connecting flight options to STT:

– American Airlines (Miami, Florida) Flight 943 & 1391
– Delta (Atlanta, GA) Flight 571 (661)
– Spirit only Wed. & Sat. (Fort Lauderdale) Flight 201
– JetBlue (FLL- SJU-STT) Flight 1053, 1653 then flight 1236
– United (Newark, NJ – SJU) Flight 1523
– CapeAir (from SJU) Flight 8031, 8091
– CapeAir (St. Croix) Flight 8661, 8681
– Seaborne (STX) Flight 3512, 3493

Current Direct and Connecting flight options from STT:

– American Airlines (Miami, Florida) Flight 943 & 1391
– Delta (Atlanta, GA) Flight 307 (former 674)
– Spirit only Wed. & Sat. (Fort Lauderdale) Flight 212
-Jetblue (STT-SJU-FLL) Flight 1035 then 1654
-United (SJU-Newark, NJ) Flight 1173
– CapeAir (to SJU) Flight 8021

Effective March 11, Delta 307 will become #873

Ok, so you have your flight options… Now where do you stay? Well fortunately we have a ton of options for that too. Yes, the Westin and Caneel are closed and will be all year, but we have a ton of other options. Here is a list of our sponsors who are currently open or accepting future reservations:

Now on to Jeep rentals… I highly recommend renting here on St. John, rather than renting over on St. Thomas. There are a few reasons for that. 1. Some of the traffic lights still do not work on St. Thomas. 2. There are numerous large potholes on St. Thomas. 3. Now this is the biggest reason why you shouldn’t rent over there – the car barges. We’re down to two only. If one happens to break or is down for maintenance, the lines can be extremely long, and I’m pretty sure that no one wants to spend their vacation waiting to get on a barge for hours. There are several here who are open including St. John Car Rental and L&L.

Phone/internet/cable services: Landlines are still not working for most business. So if you try to call someone and aren’t getting anyone on the line, that’s why. AT&T service is up and running, although it can be spotty from time to time. Verizon still does not work well here. It didn’t pre-storm either. There is free wifi around the island for you to use. We still do not have cable service here on island, but the Dish network does work. So the properties that have satellite TV are currently the lucky ones. All of this should be fixed very soon from what we hear.

So if you are looking to make a reservation, your best bet is email. Please be patient because internet can also be spotty at times, and I am sure many businesses have been inundated with emails.

You’re also probably wondering what is open. Well the good news is that more places are open than are closed. The majority of the restaurants and shops in Cruz bay are open. Over in Coral Bay, Skinny’s, Indigo, Oasis, Wok on the Beach and Pizzabar are all open. Jolly Dog and the shops at Skinny’s are too. Back in Cruz Bay, Wharfside and most of the beachfront complex remains closed. The Spice Shop, Beach Bum, Freebird and Island Cork are all open, however. Joe DeCourcy, owner of Wharfside, is aiming to reopen his parcel, which includes Joe’s Rum Hut by March 1st. The Beach Bar hopes to open a bit sooner than that. High Tide remains closed unfortunately. According to its owners, its parcel still does not have water. We will keep you all posted on this section of town as more information becomes available.

As we told you last month, the entire National Park is open. This means that all beaches, trails and roads are open. And the beaches are beautiful! And they’re not crowded! I’m heading out for some beach time today, and I’ll be certain to post some pics over on our Facebook page.

So once you’re on island, you’ll want to have some fun, right? Well News of St. John Tours is open, as are numerous charter boats! I would love to take you all on a Jeep tour around the island. We can do some sightseeing, beach hopping, check out some ruins and more! Please visit www.newsofstjohn.com/islandtours to learn more.

Looking to get out on the water? Boat Day VI, Born to Rhumb, Island Roots, Love City Excursions, Palm Tree Charters are all up and running, and ready to take you out! Kekoa is still repairing its boat, but they’ll be ready to take you out later this year.

So I’m not sure about all of you, but I think that 2018 is an amazing time for you all to visit St. John. If you gave any specific questions, please feel free to email me at jenn@newsofstjohn.com. It may take a bit for me to respond, but I will do my best to answer as quickly as possible.

Thanks everyone and have a great week!

44 comments for “2018 Is Going to be a Good Year…

  1. Chris Hudson
    January 2, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Does United flight continue on to STT from SJU or do u need to switch airlines and vice versa?

    • News of St. John
      News of St. John
      January 2, 2018 at 10:20 am

      I believe from SJU you would hop on either Cape Air or Seaborne.

  2. Barbara
    January 2, 2018 at 10:23 am

    We also have two rentals on VRBO #672134 and #809771. Also FREEBIRD CREATIONS is open taking all major credit cards. Store hours 9 – 8. Hope to see you all very soon!

  3. Kevin Mann
    January 2, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Great to hear the positive forecast. Please contact me with sponsor information.

  4. Debbie
    January 2, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Caribbeanvillas.com also has some homes available. Headed there 2 weeks from tomorrow!

  5. Jane Goodell
    January 2, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Hi, Thanks for the update. Do you know if Morgan’s Mango and Miss Lucy’s are open? We are headed down for three weeks mid February to March if we aren’t found frozen here in Connecticut.

  6. Rick Smith
    January 2, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Southwest Airlines also has a lot of flights going into San Juan daily if someone is looking at that route

    • Kathy Miner
      January 3, 2018 at 7:05 am

      I am currently on island for my first post-hurricane visit. Morgan’s Mango was destroyed. They are partially rebuilt. I have not heard an opening date, have you, Jenn? But as she says, most Cruz Bay restaurants are up and running.

  7. Lisa Deason
    January 2, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Could you post a list of restaurants open? Also is Cool Breezes car rental open again? Thank you.

    • Pam
      January 28, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Yes. I talked to them a couple weeks ago.

  8. Laurie Anderson
    January 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

    We found a really good deal on Southwest Airlines which goes into San Juan, then booked a hopper flight to St Thomas via Seaborne.

    • Sherie
      January 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Thinking of doing the same…. how much time do you need in between flights once on San Juan?

  9. Chrissy Himler
    January 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    So excited! We are in the process of booking now!!!!

  10. Melissa Puppa
    January 2, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    We were on a boat charter the before Christmas. We were in St John at the beginning and end of our trip. We were so happy to see the island rebounding so well. White Bay, Norman, and Leverick Bay seem to be well into recovery mode as well. We love St John, it’s special! Do you know if there are any plans to rebuild the customs office? I’m sure this is not at the top of the priority list but was curious about its status.

  11. Bill & Connie Eisenbrey
    January 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the update !! Exciting things happening.
    Quick? Are ATM , Banks Open & are Charges bring accepted.? Coming to Island for 2 months and would rather not bring a lot of cash for groceries , restaurants, etc. see you soon .
    Connie & Bill

    • Kathy Miner
      January 3, 2018 at 7:08 am

      We have been able to use our credit card EVERYWHERE in Cruz Bay.

    • Randall locklin
      January 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

      We are here now. Banks and ATM’s Open and Working.

      Most restaurants accepting credit cards.

  12. Connie & Bill
    January 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Sent wrong email typo!!

  13. Michele
    January 2, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for the updates, don’t know what we would do without you!!
    Any news of Private Homes for Private Vacations, especially Mary Phyllis and her daughter Mary Eileen?
    Or Sea Turtle Villa, we have reservations for May and still plan on coming

  14. marc
    January 2, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    good vibes! good times 2018!!

  15. January 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Great article!
    Prince Charters is also open, offering Day/Snorkel Sails and Sparkling Sunset Sails out of Cruz Bay! Book your charter today!

  16. Carol
    January 2, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    We are heading your way in May and booked a direct flight on American. Fingers crossed this is not a glitch in their programming.

  17. Martin Johnson
    January 3, 2018 at 8:53 am

    You forgot Joy of Life Villa. Fully off the grid soon.

  18. Jim
    January 3, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Could you report in on cell and landline phone service restoration. Were coming in April!

  19. Lynnette
    January 3, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Appreciate all of the updates, Jenn! I am also curious about whether the Customs Office has any timeline planned? Thank you!

  20. Frank Vallely
    January 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Any news of Columbo’s smoothie shack? Visiting in March and loved the pit stop to and from Francis Bay beach.

  21. carlene
    January 3, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Any word on Candi’s BBQ stand? I’ve heard absolutely nothing about them and I love their ribs & chicken. Hoping to stop by in Feb when I come.

  22. pianogrl
    January 4, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Also Vacation Vistas has villas for rent. Courtesy Jeep Rental is up & running also.
    We will be there in May. Have rented from both of these for several years & they are great!!

  23. Earthstar
    January 5, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Right before you posted about the park opening I booked my escape to the South Pacific. I would have loved to return to St John! I’m glad you guys are doing better and look forward to a future visit :)

  24. "Red Boots"
    January 5, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Great job Jenn at updating the “world” on the significant progress being made as St John truly seems ready to welcome her visitors once again..!! In fact, this will probably be seen as having been a very special time to look back and remember the renewed unified feeling St John has long been known for..!!!!!!

  25. Mark Bushor
    January 5, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Happy New Year Jenn!!!

  26. Dirk Messelaar
    January 5, 2018 at 11:09 am

    You have provided an invaluable service to St. John residents and prospective visitors in giving credible and detailed island recovery updates since Irma and Maria. Thank you.

    A few weeks ago you asked readers to email you with STJ vacation properties
    available for rent (not necessarily your sponsors). What ever happened to that?

    Our popular condo Petit Tre’sor near Cruz Bay– with private pool, screened porch,
    and panoramic views — is accepting reservations at VRBO # 492761.

    • News of St. John
      News of St. John
      January 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Dirk! I have a list that I send out to readers upon request. :)

      • Rob
        January 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        I’d like to request that list please.

        We’re headed back in April and having a hard time finding places that have what we’re looking for that are up and running.

      • Sue Hanley
        January 28, 2018 at 12:53 am

        Requesting St. John vacation properties list? Thanks so very much, can’t wait to return! Sue

      • Marcela Maamari
        February 16, 2018 at 6:49 am

        I’d like a list of available rental properties.

        Thank you!

  27. Holly
    January 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Hello! I visit St John every year with friends for my birthday during April. We are still planning on heading down this year, but VRBO and AIRBNB have very little to offer as of now. We prefer to stay in Cruz Bay or close to- we don’t mind a walk! If there is a list of open properties via an email list I would love to be included on it- as well as a list of open restaurants and bars and tentative dates. So sad to hear about ZoZos. Hoping Beach Bar is up and running by mid April- thanks!

  28. harith
    January 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

    great information. Thank you Jenn, for all you do.

  29. Kim
    January 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Forgive me if this has been answered…..are the ATM machines up and running? Coming in late February!!!

  30. Paula Warrick
    February 15, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Just saw where you said the park is open ..Does that mean we can Access the beaches through Caneel Resort or is Access to like Scott beach by water only?

    • News of St. John
      News of St. John
      February 15, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      You have to access that beach hi water only. You cannot traverse Caneel’s property.

  31. Mary Atwater
    February 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Just spent 3 weeks and it was hard to leave. Everything we needed was there, banks, St John’s Market, Star Fish, and Dolphin. The locals looked tired, understandably, and hopeful. Great massages by Meagen Crandall, Crandell and Jens Madsen!

    We ate at several of the local restaurants, St John’s Brewery, Sun Dog, Hide Tide, Ocean 362, Skinny Legs, Terrace, Long Board and the new Gringos. Looking forward to Miss Lucy’s opening soon and Morgan’s Mango.

    We spent more than a few coins at Low Key, sailed to BVI’s, Foxy’s and Soggy Dollar!!! Then a crew went for a dive. What a great day or two!

    The Atwaters

  32. TDM
    May 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Coming in early August with our 3 kids. First time to SJ. Suggestions on what area of the island we should lodge? We like to rent villas as close to beach as possible, but would consider a resort if price was reasonable. Kids are teenagers and preteen. Thanks for any recommendations!

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